Governors' case on barring from office referred to Maraga - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Governors' case on barring from office referred to Maraga

 

A case in which governors wants magistrates stopped from issuing orders barring them from accessing office once charged with corruption offences has been referred to the Chief Justice.

Justice James Makau directed the Deputy registrar to transmit the file to the CJ without any delay for purposes of appointing a bench to hear the matter.

The case was filed by the Council of Governors on Friday.

They argued that it is not clear whether the order to bar a governor from accessing office applies only to the physical office at the county government headquarters or it covers access to all county government offices in all the sub-counties and wards.

It said the High Court needs to interpret the meaning of ‘office’ in the context of the election of the governor and the removal process.

Several governors have been arraigned in court to answer charges on corruption and economic crimes.

During bail hearings, the DPP has been raising strong objections that the accused being a governor should only be released on bail on condition that they do not access their offices pending hearing and determination of their trials.

Some of the county chiefs ordered not to access office during the pendency of their criminal trials are Governors Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu), Ali Korane (Garissa) and former governor.

The CoG through Lawyer Peter Wanyama says the duration of staying out of office and the timelines for the criminal trial are not set.

“There is a major trend in the prosecution of corruption and economic crimes cases where Governors have been targeted for prosecution and constructively removed from office,” he says.

He wants the court to restrain any magistrate in Kenya from making orders that constructively remove governors from office once charged with a criminal offence.

Also sought was an order to have the matter determined by an uneven number of Judges appointed by the Chief Justice.

CoG says the case raises substantial questions of law.

“The concept of stepping aside has presented major difficulties in the running of county government operations. It has created paralysis and confusion in the performance of county government functions thereby undermining service delivery,” It says.

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